Boxing Glove Logo
You will enjoy reading these historic
and articles. Some of the
greatest boxing events
from the 1800's
through modern history.





_ New Orleans, Feb.7. - When the prize fight between John L. Sullivan, of Boston, and Patrick Ryan, of Troy, was first arranged it was understood that it would be fought in Mississippi, within 100 miles of New Orleans, on the Mobile Road. Both Ryan and Sullivan, after spending a few days in New Orleans, established their training stations in Mississippi, the former at Bay St. Louis, and the latter at Mississippi City. The training was proceeding well, when news was brought that a bill had been presented in the Mississippi Legislature, in session at Jackson, prohibiting prize-fighting, and punishing it with fine and imprisonment. Panic stricken, Sullivan and his friends put back to New Orleans and were soon followed by Ryan. The former resumed training at Carrollton, an upper suburb at the west end on the Pontchartrain Lake shore. The spot which Ryan's friends had selected for the fight, near Sullivan's training ground at Mississippi City, was abandoned and another chosen on Gentilly Road, near Michaud Station, about 15 miles from this city. All was going well, when on Saturday last, a few gentlemen connected with the city churches called upon Gov. McEnery and solicited his interference to prevent the fight and he promised compliance. He sent for the two leading sporting men of the city who represented Ryan and Sullivan, respectively, and forbade them to fight within the State line of Louisiana. They asked the Governor to point out the law of the State which prohibited prize-fighting. Gov. McEnery, thoroughly aroused, replied that he was law enough for this occasion; that he had given his orders, and if necessary would proclaim martial law and call out the State troops to enforce them. The "sports" at once yielded the point and gave the Governor an assurance that this order should be obeyed and the fight should not take place in Louisiana. This made necessary another change of base, and it was finally decided to return to the first programme, slightly amended, especially as an assurance was given that the bill introduced at Jackson had been abandoned in the face of a general protest from the people along the shore, who profit by visits from strangers. The spot finally agreed upon, therefore, was on the sea shore, in front of Barnes's Hotel, at Mississippi City. This is a point 70 miles from New Orleans and 60 miles from Mobile, in Harrison County, Miss., and just abreast of Ship Island, of war fame.
_ Sullivan and Ryan arrived on the ground at 8 o'clock this morning, and went to Barnes's and Tegarden's hotels, respectively. Both were in superb condition. The excursion train, which consisted of 14 coaches and carried about 1,000 people, left New Orleans at 5 o'clock this morning and reached the ground at 10:30. At 11:30 the stakes were driven, about 1,500 people having assembled. Sullivan was the first to get in the ring. He had on a cap, and was wrapped in a blanket. He looked very pale. Fifteen minutes later Ryan appeared, smiling serenely. Ryan got the choice of corners, and after considerable bickering Alexander Brewster, of New Orleans, and Jack Hardy, of Vicksburg, were chosen joint referees. The ring was cleared at 11:50 A.M. "Pat." Mealy offered to bet $100 to $500 that Ryan would knock Sullivan down first. Sullivan cast his cap into the ring at 11:45. One hundred dollars to eighty was offered and accepted on Sullivan. Sullivan was seconded by Billy Madden, Joe Goss, and Arthur Chambers.
_ At exactly 11:58 o'clock the men toed the scratch and shook hands for the first round. Both men sparred cautiously for an opening. Ryan led with his right, but fell short and caught in return a hot one from Sullivan's left on the face. Exchanges then became short and quick, and Sullivan finally knocked Ryan down with a severe right-hander on the cheek. Time - 0:30.
_ Second Round - Sullivan at once rushed to his man and let go with his left, which caught Ryan on the jaw. Ryan closed with him, and they wrestled for a fall, Ryan winning and falling heavily on his opponent. Time - 0:25.
_ Third Round - The men came together with a rush, and Sullivan, after making three passes, knocked Ryan down with a terrible right-hander on the chest. Time - 0:04.
_ Fourth Round - The men sparred, for perhaps a second or two; both feinted; and then Sullivan went for Ryan's face, putting in a stinging blow square on his nob before they closed. Slugging then began and continued until Ryan was forced into and upon the ropes, when he went to the grass. Time of round 20 seconds.
_ Fifth Round - This was a repetition of the previous round, both men closing and putting in their best work. The attack of both men was confined to the face. Ryan succeeded in bringing Sullivan to his knees at the close of the round.
_ Sixth Round - Sullivan came up smiling, but it was evident that Ryan was not only suffering, but was somewhat afraid of his antagonist. Sullivan lost no time, but went in to win. Ryan, however, closed, and getting Sullivan across the buttock, downed him.
_ Seventh Round - This round was a short one. The men closed and hitting was continued for a few seconds, when Ryan went to the grass a wreck. Sullivan came to his corner smiling. Ryan, however, had the grit to come up for another round.
_ Eighth Round - When time was called the men came up promptly. Ryan was decidedly weak, but he made a gallant struggle. Sullivan fought him over the ring into the umpire's corner and over the ropes. Upon getting off the ropes Ryan rallied, but went down on one hand and one knee. A foul was looked for, but, though Sullivan had his hand raised to strike, he restrained himself as Ryan rose. Both men were retiring to their corners when the seconds of each cried "Go for him," and the men responding, again came together. They closed and then clinched, and after a short struggle both went down.
_ Ninth Round - Ryan failed to come to time and the fight was declared in favor of Sullivan. Ryan and Sullivan were visited after they had gone to their quarters. Ryan was lying in an exhausted condition on his bed, badly disfigured in the face, his upper lip being cut through and his nose disfigured. He did not move but lay panting. Stimulants were given him to restore him. He is terribly punished on the head.
_ At the conclusion of the fight Sullivan ran to his quarters at a lively gait, and laughing. He lay down for a while as he was a little out of wind, but there is not a scratch on him. He chatted pleasantly with his friends. The fighting was short, sharp, and decisive on Sullivan's part throughout, Ryan showing weariness after the first round.
_ Immediately after the fight Ryan was visited in his quarters by a well known physician with the intention of giving him medical assistance if any was needed. His pulse was normal and his chief injuries consisted of a welt on the left side of the neck, where he had been struck a terrible blow in the second round, gashed lips, and a cut over the eye, together with a number of contusions about the body. After an examination the physician stated that Ryan was suffering from hernia and that he must have been in great pain during the fight. He advised him to forsake the prize-ring. Ryan stated that he intended to give up pugilism, as he did not think he was suited by nature for that kind of business.
_ He said he considered Sullivan a born prize-fighter and a very formidable opponent in the ring. In regard to his defeat, Ryan spoke very calmly, admitting he had been fairly whipped, but at the same time stating he had been sick during the night and was partially disabled early in the action by the falling of his truss. He said he suffered great pain and felt in no condition to fight, and but for the fact that people would have considered him a coward he would not have appeared in the ring under any circumstances. Johnny Roach, Ryan's trainer, and W.E. Harding, the representative of his backer, said they considered the fight a fair one, and had no complaints to make regarding the result.
_ Mr. Fox lost $8,500. Between $100,000 and $200,000 are supposed to have changed hands on the result. The result today was in accordance with the expectations of many keen observers of the two men, who relied upon Sullivan's wonderful hitting powers and remarkable skill as a two-handed fighter to win him the battle. From the start he acted on the offensive, attacking his opponent with violence amounting almost to ferocity, breaking down Ryan's guards with his terrific blows, and following up the attack by clinching and wrestling. There was apparently little science displayed, the rounds being short, ending in a fall or knockdown. This plan of attack could not have been carried out for any great length of time, but Sullivan's friends relied for success upon his quick work. Sullivan and his party took an excursion train and came to this city soon after the fight. Ryan, Roach, and Harding came to the city tonight and will leave here for their homes tomorrow.

_ The fight was for the heavy-weight championship of America and a stake of $5,000. Richard K. Fox, of this city, was the backer for Ryan, and deposited half that amount. James Keenan, of Boston, was the backer for Sullivan and deposited the other half. Charles McDonald, of Canada; Thomas Kelly, of St. Louis, and John Roach, of the Fourth Ward of this city, were Ryan's seconds. Joe Goss, of England, and Arthur Chambers, of Philadelphia, were the seconds for Sullivan. Harry Hill, of this city, was the stakeholder. The articles were drawn up in New York, and were to the affect that Ryan and Sullivan should fight a fair, stand-up fight, in a 24 foot ring, according to the new rules of the prize ring, and that it should take place within 100 miles of New Orleans. In the event of Police interference the referee, or the stakeholder, it was agreed, should name the next time and place of meeting.
_ John L. Sullivan, the victor, is a native of Boston, and is only 25 years of age. He is 5 feet 11 3/4 inches in height, and when in condition weighs 180 pounds. He has frequently taken part in sparring matches since he was 16 years old, but had never entered the prize ring with bare hands until yesterday. In Boston he knocked Joe Goss, the English pugilist, out of time in a boxing match. In December, 1880, he fought John E. Donaldson with hard gloves in Cincinnati, and was victorious. Eleven rounds were fought in 20 minutes. On a barge in the Hudson River in May of last year he defeated John Flood with hard gloves in 16 minutes. Until the result of his fight with Ryan was announced in this city yesterday he had few friends here.
_ Patrick Ryan, the defeated pugilist, was born in the County of Tipperary, Ireland, and is 29 years of age. He is 6 feet and a half an inch in height, and his fighting weight was 190 pounds. In 1871 he was matched to fight John Dwyer, of Brooklyn, but the fight never took place. Ryan's only encounter in the prize ring prior to yesterday was Joe Goss in West Virginia, in late June, 1880. He won the battle in 87 rounds, the fight lasting one hour and twenty minutes. Ryan has made his home in Troy for several years.

JANUARY 29, 1882




Historic boxing newspapers and articles.